2018-2019 Academic Catalog

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Physician Assistant

Accreditation Statement

The College of Saint Elizabeth MS in Physician Assistant Program has applied for Accreditation – Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The CSE MS PA Program anticipates matriculating its first class in October 2019 (Fall B semester), pending achieving Accreditation – Provisional status at the June 2019 ARC-PA meeting.

Accreditation - Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding accreditation-provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

Program Overview

The Master of Science (M.S.) in Physician Assistant degree program (MS PA Program) is designed to educate physician assistants (PAs) who are committed to excellence in the medical care of all patients; by embracing personal growth and development, servant leadership, and social justice and responsibility. A focus on engaged, active learning in a supportive environment will enable students to obtain the knowledge and skills, and develop the attitudes and behaviors, necessary to demonstrate competency as entry-level clinical PAs. Graduates of the MS PA Program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination and upon passing, obtain state licensure.

The 27-month, 104-credit, cohort-based graduate program will prepare graduates to use evidence-based principles and critical thinking skills in the provision of responsible and compassionate quality medical care. The first 15 months of the MS PA Program are primarily didactic in nature, providing a solid foundation in the basic sciences, patient interaction and evaluation skills, evidence-based practice, and clinical medicine. First year clinical experiences allow students to practice their learned skills concurrently with actual patients. The MS PA Program curriculum incorporates a team-based approach to clinical application thus integrating theoretical knowledge, experience with patients, practical skills, and professional behaviors, while preparing students to function as responsible and respectful members of the healthcare team. Seminar-based coursework focused on PA professional practice, leadership skills, social justice, and application to actual clinical scenarios, continues into the clinical portion of the MS PA Program.

During the final 12-month clinical portion of the program, students will complete nine full-time supervised clinical practice experience courses (clinical rotations) where they deliver care to patients in a variety of settings and disciplines, as members of the healthcare team. Under the guidance of clinically practicing PAs and physicians, these experiences provide students with opportunities to develop competency in the areas of medical knowledge, patient care, and clinical skills while refining their interpersonal and communication skills and professional behavior. Each student will be exposed to patients in the disciplines of internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, women's health, psychiatry, general surgery and emergency medicine. Two elective five-week clinical rotations provide the student with the opportunity to explore other areas of medicine and surgery.

The concurrent required community service-learning component of the MS PA Program provides the student with the opportunity to examine the impact social determinants have on health. Service learning will take place in environments that expose students to community issues such as literacy, education, housing, and hunger, etc. Students will develop a holistic appreciation for patients; and be better prepared to address the challenges, disparities, and social justice issues that may affect a patient's health, wellness and medical care.

The MS PA Program at the College of Saint Elizabeth provides a rigorous curriculum within a supportive learning environment that emphasizes student achievement and service that will allow the student to attain the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for competent clinical practice. A strong emphasis on personal, academic, and professional growth and development in a spiritually enriched environment supports the students in achieving their goals and prepares them to be life-long learners who strive to do their best in all areas; and provide leadership within their sphere of influence to promote social justice in healthcare and quality medical care for all patients.

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the MS PA Program at the College of Saint Elizabeth will be expected to:

  • Medical Knowledge: Employ critical thinking skills to incorporate medical knowledge, evidence-based principles, and patient information into the provision of medical care to patients across the lifespan and in a variety of settings.
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills: Develop appropriate relationships with the members of the multidisciplinary healthcare team, and patients and their family members; utilize interpersonal and communication skills appropriate to a given context to effectively exchange information.
  • Patient Care: Provide patient-centered medical care including assessment, evaluation and management of patients across the lifespan, as a responsible member of the healthcare team. Support patients in the achievement of optimal health and wellness, taking into account their personal situation.
  • Professionalism: Exhibit exemplary professional and ethical behavior at all times and demonstrate respect and sensitivity to diverse patient populations.
  • Practice Based Learning and Improvement: Engage in meaningful personal and professional self-assessment and development activities to promote excellence in the practice of medicine and delivery of quality patient care.
  • Systems Based Practice: Provide quality medical care and promote patient advocacy and social justice within the context of the larger healthcare system; participate in leadership and advocacy opportunities to support the delivery of healthcare to all individuals and advance the PA profession.